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Match report – Bradford Bulls 30-26 Swinton Lions

24 August 2021

Braford Bulls were given a huge fright by bottom side Swinton Lions and could have even either drawn or lost the game in the dying seconds when Louis Brogan went so close only to lose the ball near the line on the last play of the game.

In the first 15 minutes both sides tested each other’s defences, but it was the Bulls who exploited the first gap when Brandon Pickersgill was on the end of a huge overlap to score on the left and Jordan Lilley converted. The Lions almost hit back on twenty-two minutes when Lewis Hatton should have scored under the posts but couldn’t hold the pass with the line open.

Bulls then went straight down field to add their second when David Foggin-Johnson broke down the left and gave the ball to the supporting Pickersgill who fed Ross Oakes to juggle his way to the line to score and Lilley again converted.

The Lions hit back on twenty-six minutes when Luis Roberts followed a kick to the corner which the Bulls defence couldn’t control so the winger dived in for the try but Jack Hansen was unable to convert. It then got even better for the visitors when the Bulls were on the attack down the right and Joe Brown threw out a long pass which fell behind all his attackers and was swept up by Lions winger Ben Heyes who raced seventy metres to score under the posts and Nick Gregson converted to put his side within two points.

The Lions made a strong start to the second half and almost scored on their first attack when Luke Waterworth was held up over the line thanks to some good defence. Martyn Ridyard kicked a twenty-forty on forty-three minutes, but his side were unable to capitalise with the ball.

George Flanagan had been introduced to the field just before the break and he went close three minutes into the second half, but the livewire hooker did get on the scoreboard on fifty-two minutes when he darted over by the posts after the Lions lost the ball and Lilley converted. Four minutes later he repeated with another dart this time from acting half after Lilley went close and again Lilley converted to give his side a fourteen point lead. Again, the Lions came back on the hour when a long cut out pass saw Roberts go over in the corner for his second, but Ridyard could not convert this one.

Matty Dawson-Jones went close on the right before Foggin-Johnson put more daylight on the scoreboard when he cut inside to score under the posts and Lilley again made no mistake with the boot.

The Lions were not lying down and with nine minutes left Hansen chipped the Bulls defence and then hacked the ball towards the line and Rhodri Lloyd followed the kick which bounced up nicely for him to score under the posts and Ridyard converted to narrow the lead. It got even better with two minutes left when Cobi Green was fouled as he sent up a high kick towards the line and from the resulting penalty ten metres out Ridyard went through the Bulls defence to score by the posts, he also added the conversion to bring his side within four points and set up a grandstand finish. With seconds to go to the hooter the Lions were on the attack and Louis Brogan broke a couple of tackles but as he went for glory he lost control of the ball as the hooter sounded and it was a huge relief for the Bulls.


1 Brandon Pickersgill

5 Matty Dawson-Jones

3 Rhys Evans

4 Ross Oakley

19 David Foggin-Johnson

2 Joe Brown

7 Jordan Lilley

23 Anthony Walker

9 Tom Doyle

24 Ben Evans

11 Adam Rooks

12 Aaron Murphy

13 Sam Hallas

Subs (all used)

14 George Flanagan

20 Brad England

15 Dan Fleming

28 Bradley Ho

Tries: Pickersgill (15), Oakes (23), Flanagan (52,55), Foggin-Johnson (66)

Goals: Lilley 5/5


22 Geronimo Doyle

25 Luis Roberts

11 Rhodri Lloyd

1 Mike Butt

21 Ben Heyes

6 Martyn Ridyard

7 Jack Hansen

8 Sam Brooks

9 Luke Waterworth

10 Lewis Hatton

3 Mitch Cox

12 Nick Gregson

15 Louis Brogan

Subs (all Used)

14 Billy Brickhill

40 Ronan Michael

16 Paddy Jones

18 Cobi Green

Tries: Roberts (26,59), Heyes (29), Lloyd (70), Ridyard (77)

Goals: Hansen 0/1

Gregson 1/1

Ridyard 2/3


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